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the temptation of noting down every beautiful o: which arrests us in turning over the eaves of the volumes before us. We ought to recollect, too, that there are few to whom our pages are o to come, who are not already familiar with their beauties; and, in fact, we have made these extracts, less with the presumptuous belief that we are introducing Mrs. Hemans for the first time to the knowledge or admiration of our readers, than from a desire of illustrating, by means of them, that singular felicity in the choice and employment of her imagery, of which we have already spoken so much at large;—that fine accord she has established between the world of sense and of soul—that delicate blending of our deep inward emotions with their splendid symbols and emblems without. We have seen too much of the perishable nature of modern literary fame, to venture to predict to Mrs. Hemans that hers will be immortal, or even of very long duration. Since the beginning of our critical career we have seen a vast deal of beautiful poetry pass into oblivion, in spite of our feeble efforts to recall or retain it in remembrance. The tuneful uartos of Southey are already little better than lumber: — and the rich melodies of Keats and Shelley, and the fantastical emphasis of Wordsworth, and the plebeian pathos of Crabbe, are melting fast from the field of our vision. The novels of Scott have put out his poetry. Even the splendid strains of Moore are fading into distance and dimness, except where they have been married to immortal music; and the blazing star of Byron himself is receding from its place of pride. We need say nothing of Milman, and Croly, and Atherstone, and Hood, and a legion of others, who, with no ordinary gifts of taste and fancy, have not so properly survived their fame, as been j'by some hard fatality, from what seemed their just inheritance. The two who have the longest withstood this rapid withering of the laurel, and with the least marks of decay on their branches, are Rogers and Campbell; neither of them, it may be remarked, voluminous writers, and both distinguished rather for the fine taste and consummate elegance of their writings, than for that fiery passion, and disdainful vehemence, which seemed for a time to be so much more in favour with the public. If taste and elegance, however, be titles to enduring fame, we might venture securely to promise that rich boon to the author before us; who adds to those great merits a tenderness and loftiness of feeling, and an ethereal purity of sentiment, which could only emanate from the soul of a woman. She must beware, however, of becoming too voluminous; and must not venture again on anything so long as the “Forest Sanctuary.” But, if the next generation inherits offir taste for short poems, we are persuaded it will not readily allow her to be forgotten. For we do not hesitate to say, that she is, beyond all comparison, the most touching and accomplished writer of occasional verses that our literature has yet to boast of.


I Am aware that the title prefixed to this head or Division of the present publication, is i:ot likely to attract many readers; and, for this reason, I have put much less under it, than under any of the other divisions. But, having been at one time more addicted to the studies to which it relates than to any other—and still confessing to a certain partiality for them—I could not think of letting this collection of old speculations go forth to the world, without som« specimen of those which once found so much favour in my eyes.

I will confess, too, that I am not un willing to have it known that, so long ago as 1804. 1 adventured to break a spear (and I trust not quite ingloriously) in these perilous lists, with t\vo wich redoubted champions as Jeremy Bentham and Dugald Stewart, then in the maturity of their lame; and also to assail, with equal gallantry, what appeared to me the opposite errors of the two great Dogmatical schools of Priestley and of Reid.

I will venture also to add, that on looking back on what I have now reprinted of these early lucubrations, I cannot help indulging a fond, though probably delusive expectation, that the brief and familiar exposition I have there attempted, both of the fallacy of the Materialist theory, and of the very moderate practical value that can be assigned to Metaphysical discussions generally, and especially of the real shallowness and utter insignificance of the thorough-going Scepticism (even if unanswerable) to which they have been supposed i» lead raajr be found neither so tedious, nor so devoid of interest even to the general reader, as the mere announcement of the subjects might lead him to apprehend.

(flprtl, 1804.)

Traités de Lésçislation Civile et Pénale; précédés de Principes Généraux de Législation, et a'une Vue d'un Corps complet de Droit; terminés par un Essai sur l'influence des Tems et des Lieux relativement aux Lois. Par M. JÉrÉmie Bentham, Jurisconsulte Anglois. Publiée en François par M. Dumont de Genève, d'après les Manuscrits confíes par l'Auteur. 8vo. 3 torn. Paris, an X. 1802.

While the author displayed, in many places, great originality and accuracy of thinking, and gave proofs throughout of a very uncommon degree of courage, acuteness, and impartiality, it was easy to perceive that he was encumbered with the magnitude of his subject, and that his habits of discussion were but ill adapted to render it popular with the greater part of his readers. Though fully possessed of his subject, he scarcely ever appeared to be properly the master of it; and seemed evidently to move in his new career with great anxiety and great exertion. In the subordinate details of his work, he is often extremely ingenious, clear, and satisfactory; but in the grouping and distribution of its several parts, he is apparently irresolute or capricious; and has multiplied and distinguished them by such a profusion of divisions and subdivisions, that the understanding is nearly as much bewildered from the excessive labour and com

The title-page of this work exhibits a curions instance of the division of labour; and of the combinations that hold together the literary commonwealth of Europe. A living author consents to give his productions to the world in the language of a foreign editor; and the speculations of an English philosopher are published at Paris, under the direction of a rtdacteur from Geneva. This arrangement is not the most obvious or natural in the world; лог is it very flattering to the literature of this country; but we have no doubt that it was adopted for sufficient reasons.

It is now about fifteen years since Mr. Bentham first announced to the world his design of composing a great work on the Principles of morals and legislation. The specimen which he then gave of his plan, and of his abilities, was calculated, we think, to excite considerable expectation, and considerable alarm, in the reading part of the community.

plexity of Hie arrangement, as it could have been from its absolute omission. In following out the discussions into which he is tempted by every incidental suggestion, he is so anxious to fix a precise and appropriate principle of judgment, that he not only loses sight of the general scope of his performance, but pushes his metaphysical analysis to a degree of subtlety and minuteness that must prove repulsive to the greater part of his readers. In the extent and the fineness of those speculations, he sometimes appears to lose all recollection of his subject, and often seems to have tasked his ingenuity to weave snares for his understanding.

The powers and the peculiarities which were thus indicated by the preliminary treatise, were certainly such as to justify some solicitude as to the execution of the principal work. While it was clear that it would be well worth reading, it was doubtful if it would be very fit for being read: and while it was certain that it would contain many admirable remarks, and much orisrinal reasoning, there was room for apprehending that the author's love of method and metaphysics might place his discoveries beyond the reach of ordinary students, and repel the curiosity which the importance of the subject was so likely to excite. Actuated probably, in part, by the consciousness of those propensities (which nearly disqualified him from beins the editor of his own speculations), and still too busily occupied with the prosecution of his great work to attend to the nice finishing of its parts, Mr. Bentham, about six years ago, put into the hands of M. Dumont a large collection of manuscripts, containing the greater part of the reasonings and observations which he proposed to embody into his projected system. These materials, M. Dumont assures us, though neither arranged nor completed, were rather redundant than defective in quantity; and left nothing to the rédacteur, but the occasional labour of selection, arrangement, and compression. This task he has performed, as to a considerable part of the papers entrusted to him, in the work now before us; and has certainly given a very fair specimen both of the merit of the original speculations, and of his own powers of expression and distribution. There are some passages, perhaps, into which a degree of levity has been introduced that does not harmonise with the general tone of the composition: and others in which we mise something of that richness of illustration and homely vigour of reasoning which delighted us in Mr. Bentham's original publications; but, in point of neatness and perspicuity, conciseness and precision, we have no sort of doubt that M. Dumont has been of the most essential service to hie principal; and are inclined to suspect that, without this assistance, we should never have been able to give any account of his labours.»

The principle upon which the whole of Mr.

• A considerable portion of the original paper ii heie omiited; and those pone only retained, which relate to 'he general principle and scope of the system.

Bentham's system depends is, that and utility alone, is the criterion of right a:: wrong, and ought to be the sole object oi •.:.? legislator. This principle^ be admite, has often been suggested, and is familiarly гьч.-red to both in action and deliberation : bat be maintains that it has never been followed out with sufficient steadiness and resolution. ¿< . that the necessity of assuming it as the e.i¿..sive test of our proceedings has never Ьч: sufficiently understood. There are two principles, he alleges, that have been admitir ': a share of that moral authority which belonjs of right to utility alone, and have exercised a control over the conduct ami opinion* of юciety, by which legislators have been тегт frequently misled. One of these he denomb nates the Ascetic principle, or that which rajoins the mortification of the sensée as a doty, and proscribes their gratification as a iin : :. the other, which has had a mnch more f\\-1sive influence, he calls the principle of Svpathy or Antipathy; under which name Ы comprehends all those systems which pkct the basis of morality in the indication? • : i moral Sense, or in tne maxims of a rale a! Right: or which, under any other form • : repression, decide upon the propriety of htmua actions by any reference to internal {ft-:::-:-. and not solely on a consideration of their •> sequences.

As utility is thus assumed as the lev г standard of action and approbation, and i« i¡ consists in procuring pleasure and av< pain. Mr. Bentham has thought it notv-r.: in this place, to introduce a catalocue o! the pleasures and pains of which he Coik-p v. • man to be susceptible; since these, he аПегк. are the elements of that moral calculation in which the wisdom and the duty of legislators and individuals must ultimately be found to

| consist. The simple pleasures of which r: is susceptible are fourteen, it seem?, ir. :..'.'•

iber; andaré thus enumerated—1. pleasure« of sense: 2. of wealth: 3. of deiterity: 4. cf good character: 5. of friendship: 6. of роит 7. of piety: 6. of benevolence: 9. of пикетеlence: 10. of memory: 11. of imagination: 12. of hope: 13. of association: 14. of re!:« from pain. The pains, our readers wu: :•' happy to hear, are only eleven ; and arc .'* • most exactly the counterpart of the pica«'-' that have now been enumerated. The с-"struction of these catalogues. M. Dumont с г.siders as by far the greatest improvement &'••'• has yet been made in the philosophy of i-man nature!

It is chiefly by the fear of pain that яеа are regulated in the choice of their delil*^' actions; and Mr. Bentham finds that рг i may be attached to particular actions ir. ¡о-: different ways: 1. by nature: 2. bypebU« opinion: 3. by positive enactment: ami 4. t1 the doctrines of religion. Our institution?»be perfect when all these different sinew:? are in harmony with each other.

But the most difficult part of ourauthnr'i task remains. In order to make any uthose "elements of moral arithmetic." *bicb are constituted, by the list* of our plearoret and pins, it wa? evidently necessary to ascertain their relative Value,—to enable him to proceed in his legislative calculations with any degree of assurance. Under this head, hownver, we are only told that the value of a pleasure or a pain, considered in itself, depends, 1. upon its intensity, 2. upon its proximjty, 3. u pou its duration, and 4. upon its certajntv; and that, considered with a view to its consequences, its value is further affected, 1. by its fecundity, i. e. its tendency to produce other pleasures or pains; 2. by its fjnty. i. e. its being unmixed with other seneationa: and, 3. by the number of persons to whom il may extend. These considerations, however, the author justly admits to be still inadequate for his purpose; for, by what теми is the Intensity of any pain or pleasure to be measured, and how, without a knowledge of this, are we to proportion punishments to temptations, or adjust the measures of recompense or indemnification 1 To solve this proMem. Mr. Bentham seems to have thought it sufficient to recur to his favourite system of Enumeration; and to have held nothing else necessary than to make out a fair catalogue ol 'the circumstances by which the sensibility is affected." These he divides into two branches—the primary and the secondary. The first he determines to be exactly fifteen, пл temperament—health—strength—bodily imperfection — intelligence—strength of understanding— fortitude — perseverance—dispositions—notions of honour — notions of reli<!ioa—sympathies—antipathies — folly or derangement—fortune. The secondary are only i".ie, viz. sex—age — rank—education — pro!i'.-.-io;i—climate — creed — government — reb,r:uus creed. By carefully attending to these ¡'•veiiîy-fuur circumstances. Mr. Bentham is of opinion that we may be able to estimate the ïilue of any particular pleasure or pain to an Œdiridiul, with sufficient exactness; and to ,u.Lv of the comparative magnitude of crimes, and of the proportionate amount of pains and compensations.

Now the first remark that suggests itself is, [hat if there is little that is false or pernicious ш this system, there is little that is either new or important. That laws were made to promote the general welfare of society, and that nothing should be enacted which has a different tendency, are truths that can scarcely daim the merit of novelty, or mark an epoch by the date of their promulgation; and we have not yet been able to discover that the fast technical apparatus here provided by Mr. Bentham can be of the smallest service in improving their practical application.

The basis of me whole system is the undivided sovereignty of the principle of Utility. »! the necessity which mere is for recurring strictly to it in every question of legislation. Moral feelings, it is admitted, will frequently be found to coincide with it: but they are on no account to be trusted to, till this coincidence has been verified. They are no better, ш short, than sympathies and antipathies, mere private and unaccountable feelings, that ""»У тагу in the case of every individual;

and therefore can afford no fixed standard for general approbation or enjoyment. Now we cannot help thinking, that this fundamental proposition is very defective, both in logical consistency, and in substantial truth. In the first place, it seems very obvious that the principle of utility is liable to the very same objections, on the force of which the authority of moral impressions has been so positively denied. For how shall utility itself be recognised, but by a feeling exactly similar to that which is stigmatised as capricious and unaccountable? How are pleasures and pains, and the degrees and relative magnitude of pleasures and pains, to be distinguished, but by the feeling and experience of every individual? And what greater certainty can there be in the accuracy of such determinations, than in the results of other feelings no less general and distinguishable? It right and wrong, in short, be not precisely the same to every individual, neither are pleasure and pain; and if there be despotism and absurdity in imposing upon another, one's own impressions of wisdom and propriety, it cannot be just and reasonable to erect a standard of enjoyment, and a consequent nile of conduct, upon the narrow basis of our own measure of sensibility. It is evident, therefore, that by assuming me principle of utility, we do not get rid of the risk ot variable feeling: and that we are still liable to all the uncertainty that may be produced by this cause, under the influence of any other principle.

The truth is, however, that this uncertainty is in all cases of a very limited nature; and that the common impressions of morality, the vulgar distinctions of right and wrong, virtue and vice, are perfectly sufficient to direct the conduct of the individual, and the judgment of the legislator, for all useful purposes, without any reference to the nature or origin of those distinctions. In many respects, indeed, we conceive them to be much fitter for this purpose than Mr. Bentham's oracles of utility. In the first place, it is necessary to observe, that it is a very gross and unpardonable mistake to represent the notions of right and wrong, which are here in question, as depending altogether upon the private and capricious feelings of an individual. Certainly no man was ever so arrogant or so foolish, as to insist upon establishing his own individual persuasion as an infallible test of duty and wisdom for all the rest of the world. The moral feelings, of which Mr. Bentham would make go small account, are the feelings which observation has taught us to impute to nil men-, those in which, under every variety of cir cumstances, they are found pretty constantly to agree, and as to which the uniformity of their conclusions may be reasoned and reckoned upon, with almobt as much security aa in the case of their external perceptions. The existence of such feelings, and the uniformity with which they are excited in all men on the same occasions, are facts, in short, that admit of no dispute; and, in point of certainty and precision, are exactly on a footing with those perceptions of utility that can only be relied on after they also have been verified by a similar process of observation. Now, we are inclined to think, in opposition to Mr. Bentham, that a legislator will proceed more safely by following the indications of those moral distinctions as to which all men are agreed, than by setting them altogether at defiance, and attending exclusively to those perceptions of utility which, after all, he must collect from the same general agreement.

It is now, we believe, universally admitted, that nothing can be generally the object of moral approbation, which does not tend, upon the whole, to the good of mankind; and we are not even disposed to dispute with Mr. Bentham, that the true source of this moral approbation is in all cases a perception or experience of what may be called utility in the action or object which excites it. The difference between us, however, is considerable; and it is precisely this—Mr. Bentham maintains, that in all cases we ought to disregard the presumptions arising from moral approbation, and, bv a resolute and scrupulous analysis, to get at the actual, naked utility upon which it is founded; and then, by the application of his new moral arithmetic, to determine its quantity, its composition, and its value; and, according to the result of this investigation, to regulate our moral approbation for the future. We, on the other hand, are inclined to hold, that those feelings, where they are uniform and decided, are by far the surest tests of the quantity and value of the utility by which they are suggested; and that if we discredit their report, and attempt to ascertain this value by any formal process of calculation or analysis, we desert a safe and natural standard, in pursuit of one for the construction of which we neither have, nor ever can have, any rules or materials. A very few observations, we trust, will set this in a clear light.

The amount, degree, or intensity of any pleasure or pain, is ascertained by feeling; and not determined by reason or reflection. These feelings ho we ver are transitory in their own nature, and, when they occur separately, and, as it were, individually, are not easily recalled with such precision as to enable us, upon recollection, to adjust their relative values. But when they present themselves in combination?, or in rapid succession, their relative magnitude or intensity is generally perceived by the mind without any exertion, and rather by a sort of immediate feeling, than in consequence of any intentional comparison: And when a particular combination or succession of such feelings is repeatedly or frequently suggested to the memory, the relative value of all its parts is perceived with great readiness and rapidity, and the general result is fixed in the mind, without our being conscious of any act of reflection. In this way, moral maxims and impressions arise in ihe minds of all men, from an instinctive and involuntary valuation of the good and the evil whieh. they have perceived to be connected with certain actions or habits; and those impreeeions may safely be taken for the just remit of that valuation, which we may after

wards attempt, unsuccessfully, though wit* great labour, to repeat. They may be <•«•:pared, on this view of the matter, to thoM acquired perceptions of st'çÀÎ by which the e;t is enabled to judge of distances; of the p-j cess of acquiring which we are equali\ Li conscious, and yet by which it is certain tbl we are much more safely and commodkmsiy guided, within the range of our ordinan occupations, than we ever could be by any formal scientific calculations, founded on the faintness of the colouring, and the magnitude oí ih. angle of vision, compared with the average tangible bulk of the kind of object in quertioc. The comparative value of such coix] L:... evil, we have already observed, can obvjcu-л be determined by feeling alone; so that th-_ interference of technical and elaborate reasoning. though it may well be supposed toife'.-t those perceptions upon the accuracy ot wii..." the determination must depend, cannot in a: ;, case be of the smallest assistance.

the preponderance of good or evil is distincù felt by all persons to whom a certain «mcbi

nation of feelings has been thus Su we have all the evidence for the г this preponderance that the nature of the subject will admit; and must try in \ar.' traverse that judgment, by any sub.«ec>v .: exertion of a faculty that has no jurisu-i:'.'. in the cause. The established rules a: A :rr.pressions of morality, therefore, we coneuei as the grand recorded result of an шги > multitude of experiments upon human f«Lr.g and fortune, under every variety of nrarLstances; and as affording, therefore, by fat the nearest approximation to a just starniar: of the good and the evil that human cooitt' is concerned with, which the nature oí лг faculties will allow. In endeavouring to correct or amend this general verdict of mai.k:: .'.. in any particular instance, we not only suh'.lute our own individual feelings for thai ¡an:average which is implied in those moral anpressions, which are universally prevaJfbut obviously run the risk of omitting or mi»taking some of the most important elements of the calculation. Every one at all *• customed to reflect upon the operations of his mind, must be conscious how ditura. •' is to retrace exactly those trains of thoB|i) which pass through the understanding »Inwt without giving us any intimation of their «лistence, and how impossible it frequently is to repeat any process of thonsht, \vbn w purpose to make it the subject of obserritKio The reason of this is. that our feeling art n: in their natural state when we would ths» make them the objects of study of analy»; and their force and direction are far bttirr estimated, therefore, from the traces vr. i they leave in their spontaneous vi'itat.«.«than from any forced revocation of them ft" the purpose of being measured or com rar»When the object itself is inaccessible, it я wisest to compute its magnitude Irom; shadow; where the cause cannot be dim-in examined, its qualities are most eecnreij Ш" ferred from its effects. One of the most obvious contequences o:

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